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Does man make the times or does Time make the man?

 
 
Letty
 
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 07:05 am
There are many theories throughout history, why certain people rise to power.Adolph Hitler became a dictator as the result of the devastation of the German economy at the end of WWI. Fidel Castro came to power as a result of the despotic tactics of the Batista regime, just to cite two examples. Is it possible that a shrewd politico can see the difference and take advantage of the times in which the world finds itself? Or is the converse true? Do the peoples of the world find and support any leader as a result of hard times?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 12,062 • Replies: 41
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 08:35 am
Oddly, I think I had this as a question in a history class, and held out for the man. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example, his commander in Cuba, Leonard Wood, slid into the obscurity of having an army post in Missouri named after him. The post has since been closed, though I hear it has been reactivated recently. The president of the same time, McKinley did get a mountain with his name on it. They changed the name to Denali.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 08:51 am
Hey, Rog. I think I may have been the one to give you the question. Very Happy

The Spanish-American War sounds odd now, doesn't it. Perhaps you are on target by observing that a "man" makes the time. William Randolph Hearst certainly did his best with yellow journalism.
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morganwood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:29 am
I think that "the time" may make the man but, time itself and hindsight give him value. At the time, "Ike" was the hero. But, looking back, doing nothing and establishing the interstate system may have been his only acomplishment as president.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:34 am
Gosh, John. Isn't doing nothing about the finest thing a president and congress can do?
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littlek
 
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Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:35 am
Y aknow - the interstate sytem is no small thing! I'd say that it was a great accomplishment and one that helped the people of the country directly for decades.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:45 am
Morganwood. Good to see you. How goes the mow? Smile

Actually, Morganwood, many historians aver that the reason Eisenhower was a good president is because he did nothing. "He governs best who governs least?" You are right, however. At that time, the world was in a post war environment which may account for the lull.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:49 am
You are right, LittleK. Interstate highways have made life faster, but not easier. Crying or Very sad
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 11:49 am
Letty, I think it takes years to look back and see what is great and to determine what was not so great. My belief if that certain men reach their highest ability in troubled times and some do not. For example Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis and LBJ and Johnson's Vietnam problems. And there are many examples further back in history of the world. .

Some people are capable of going the distance and rising above the mundane when required to do so. So I guess I say it is a combination of the right person and the right time = great action, thought, and abilities.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 01:21 pm
Joanne, I don't deny what you are saying, but that is exactly what history encompasses, the ability to look back with twenty-twenty vision and assess what is applicable in the light of today's world problems. It seems to me that if we were going to take down Saddam, it should have been done during the gulf war. Of course, you are more than likely accurate in saying that it's a combination of factors that create a significant difference in future crisises.
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 09:38 pm
unless things have changed radically from the days of my high school biology classes, woman makes the man.

RIGHT ON, SIS-TAH!!

any person who exists is shaped by their times. from the language they use to form abstract thought, to the culture they learn all around them, to the very ideals and ideas one uses to process their reality.

this question was first posed to me during an exam in european history,

"did napoleon make history or did history make napoleon"

for my own answer, see above.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Mar, 2003 07:25 am
Hey, kuvasz. How's them mutts of yours? Laughing

Of course, of course, women, either overtly or covertly shape man's destiny in one way or another. I remember this question from Western Civ. and it surfaces every time that I watch the news.
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Mar, 2003 08:40 pm
"Men make history, but they do not make it in circumstances of their own choosing."
--Karl Marx
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 05:43 am
Good morning, Larry,

Very powerful quote from Marx. Present circumstances might well echo that line of reasoning.
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 01:12 pm
Thanks, Letty!
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 05:32 pm
When you look back to the 1930s and 1940s, it seems there was an -- for want of a better word -- infection abroad that made humans less than they could be. Fascism was everywhere. Times unmade men.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 08:01 pm
No thanks necessary, Larry. Smile

POM, Nice to see you. There will always be those who beat their chests and demand that others kneel to their ideals. From two totally different poets, Carl Sandburg and Tennyson, we have "The people, yes" and "Ozymandias". Says it all, I think. And just as many viruses have done, Fascism appears to mutate.

Love your "Bossy" avatar. Razz
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 12:24 pm
Fascism was not a virus that appeared from outer space any more than Stalinism or Maoism was, or for that matter the warlike policies of the current President of the US. To pretend that it is misunderstands history. Fascism arose, first in Italy and then in Germany, in response to very specific historical circumstances--the threat of Communist strength, the decay of traditional copnservative parties, the empowerment of the lower middle class, and the rise of leaders advocating violence. Eventually the big business establishments in both countries madedeals with the Fascists to preserve their interests too. If you are going to study history, you have to study its SPECIFICS and stop talking nonsense about viruses and infections.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 12:50 pm
Hi, Larry,
My comparison was just that--a comparison. I could have said that tyranny wears many faces not often recognizable by subsequent generations. You are indeed correct when you imply that all of history is a product of the setting event. My main thesis was to decide if the times in which we live are responsible for those leaders who have risen to power, or if the leaders themselves have taken advantage of the economical, sociological, etc. in which the world roils.
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oldandknew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 01:26 pm
I'm a firm believer in that the person seizes the chance. He/she being in the right place at the right time.
On a personal level being able to see and take advantage of a particular job offer, that leads to greater things.
Letty, you mentioned Hitler. A man with an evil mind who was able to manipulate his nation/people at that given time and sow his poisoned seeds. If Hitler had been born 24 hours earlier or later, our history would of been different, because his own individual timelime would of been different. Just his formative years would of had a different input.

In America, FDR took the presidency and his ideas helped the USA build and grow in a peaceful manner. The man was in the right place at the right time. It's interesting though that after he won his third term, the American legislature introduced a new law banning anyone from being president for more than 2 terms

In the UK it can be said that Churchil was the only man who had the foresight and the guts to get us thru the first half of WW2, until America was pushed as a result of Pearl Harbour.
Thatcher in the late 1970s and through the 1980s dragged the UK out of the doldrums by having the guts, knowledge, skill and the intellect. To say to people what had to happen. To stand up to those she felt were holding the country back, telling them to not to be so blind and stupid.

People make history by using their skills at the right time. Situations are the reality. Time is a only a callender or a clock.
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